Moving beyond terror groups to examine non-state actors including warlords, gangs and private security companies, Violent Non-State Actors: • Guides you through the core theories and concepts, taking a multidisciplinary approach • Examines different explanations for the emergence of violent non-state actors as well as strategies for dealing with them • Weaves in international case studies from groups including the Islamic State, Los Zetas, Hamas, and Al Qaeda, as well as discussion questions, further reading and definitions of key terms A must read for upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students in politics, international relations, security and terrorism studies.

Terrorist Organizations and Terror Networks

Terrorist Organizations and Terror Networks

Key Terms

  • Affiliates
  • Aum Shinrikyo
  • Black Tigers and Tigresses
  • Osama bin Laden
  • Religious terrorism
  • Terrorist networks

This chapter provides an overview of terrorist groups of the past and compares them to how they operate today. As the chapter will detail, tightly knit terror groups of the past are being overshadowed by terror networks that take advantage of advances in technology. We offer an in-depth look at al-Qaeda, the best-known terror network of the 21st century and compare it with the IS, a former terrorist group turned insurgency/de facto state.


There is no widely accepted definition of what a terrorist group is. Labelling a group a terrorist group is a way of delegitimizing an opponent who may have legitimate grievances, which is why the ...

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